Leasowe, Saughall Massie and Moreton Area Forum 27th February 2013 Part 4 | Moreton Day Centre

Leasowe, Saughall Massie and Moreton Area Forum 27th February 2013 Part 4 | Moreton Day Centre

Continued from Part 3.

Mr. Hodkinson said that all the day centres were running with spare capacity, across three large ones and a number of small ones the average spare capacity was 15%, however they had the potential to offer greater capacity if like a proper business they were run at full capacity. He said that staffing levels would remain unchanged, so how was he to make savings? The contention was that the service could be run more efficiently by downsizing the number of buildings operating to reflect demand. He said currently there was the capacity for an extra 108 half-day sessions, but they had the capacity to run up to an extra thousand half day sessions if more people received a service from a smaller number of buildings.

He continued by saying that a key saving was reducing the staffing complement as it would run on a reduced staffing model to unlock additional capacity. As part of this it was their plan to close one large day centre. Graham Hodkinson referred to the consultation run in 2012 on transforming day services, which told them that people wanted smaller day centres with greater choice.

He said a key part of the plan was whether they would be better run as a social enterprise, mutual or council run company and referred to the What Really Matters consultation. The Director said that they would need a further round of consultation should the option be accepted, in which they would work directly with people affected and be clear about which would close. This would be done soon after the Council decision [on March 5th] and would compare the three large day centres on capacity, demand, unit costs, capital costs of refurbishment, added value such as community links and qualitative feedback. He would also go to each service with an officer for a meeting to enable for detailed consultation.

A member of the public said that he seemed confident he would get his own way on 5th March. Mr. Hodkinson replied that it was subject to a Council decision.

A member of the public asked what happened after the 5th March?
He answered that they have to plan, followed by that he has no say in the Council vote, but that they had to plan and have contingencies, they wanted a more efficient service and that a proper business would be run to full capacity.

A member of the public said that large day centres were more efficient than small day centres and that it was three times more expensive to run a small day centre than a large, so what was the rationale for closing a large day centre? He also asked about the recording of gifts to employees in the Department of Adult Social Services.

Graham Hodkinson said he was not sure about the final question and that the arrangements for gifts and hospitalities was a different area and that if large day services were cheaper, the cheapest model would be one large day service rather than the two proposed.

A member of the public quoted Graham saying “most efficient” and asked why they were proposing to close a large day centre if it was the most efficient service?

Continued at Part 5.

Leasowe, Saughall Massie and Moreton Area Forum 27th February 2013 Part 3 | Moreton Youth Club | Moreton Day Centre

Leasowe, Saughall Massie and Moreton Area Forum 27th February 2013 Part 3 | Moreton Youth Club | Moreton Day Centre

Continued from Part 2.

English: Wallasey Town Hall, Wirral, England a...
English: Wallasey Town Hall, Wirral, England as seen from the promenade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cllr Blakeley said that he was not in a position to answer.

Terry said that when he’d worked with Cadburys he’d been responsible for youth activities and had persuaded them to build it in the community, however it had not solely been funded by Cadburys and had been part funded by the Council, however it recent years Cadburys hadn’t been funding it.

Caroline Laing answered the points. Cllr Blakeley said that he’d read through the 1968 deed hoping to find a covenant that meant it would be saved, if it was sold half the money would go to Cadburys so Wirral Council couldn’t fully realise the asset. He wanted it to remain open and was hoping that when a million pounds was spent in Birkenhead that Moreton wouldn’t be forgotten.

A member of the public said that young people were very territorial, couldn’t afford transport and were too frightened to go outside their locality. They thought this would mean the Birkenhead youth would have the new super hub to themselves. Another member of the public said that it was a shame that only six months since the Olympics that they were shutting down youth clubs.

Cllr Blakeley said that he had got the message that the people of Moreton wanted to keep the Youth Club going, but that it was important to know what’s going on. He said it was good news that Moreton Youth Club was recommended to be maintained as it would give more time to fight its closure, therefore it was good news but not final news.

A member of the public asked if the youth club could be incorporated into the new combined One Stop Shop and library as it would make more sense as one facility? Cllr Blakeley said there would be a library update later, that it might be something worth looking at and that all suggestions could be explored. He thanked Caroline Laing.

Cllr Blakeley said that Graham Hodkinson, Director of Adult Social Services and Chris Begya were here for the next item on Moreton Day Centre.

Graham Hodkinson started by saying that they need to make savings in services for people with learning disabilities, he was going to talk about how they plan to make savings followed by a little about the consultation process, Chris Begya was also present and could answer any more detailed questions.

Mr. Hodkinson started by saying that they had to find savings of £109 million [over three years] and that the Department of Adult Social Services spent £77 million a year, therefore it was incumbent on him to present ideas as to how to run an efficient service. He said that Audit Commission data which was “readily available” [Ed – readily available where?] showed that Wirral Council was in the top 5% for its spend on learning disabilities and was an outlier as it spent the most on day services for people with learning disabilities.

He said that this cost each Wirral resident £500 which totalled £6 million [Ed – 319,800 (latest 2011 Census population figure for Wirral) * £500 = £15.99 million, so the figure is more accurately £18.76 per a resident], £5 million was spent on in-house provision and £1 million on transport. Mr. Hodkinson said that they had a duty to meet people’s needs and use public resources wisely, but he recognised that people didn’t agree with him, nevertheless he had a duty to do that.

Continued at Part 4.